News & Recent Events

Drew - our Curate moves on

Drew Walker who joined our local Benefice of All Saints’ Standon, St Mary’s Swynnerton & Cotes Heath and St Luke’s Tittensor in July 2017 as our curate has moved on to the United Benefice of Caverswall and Weston Coyney with Dilhorne.
Drew explained that his new position will be very different from our parishes with most of his team being spent supporting and encouraging past offenders and those using the local foodbank services.
He went on to tell us that he hopes to travel to Canada, probably in March this year, to work with Church members there and share their experinces in overcoming the resentment caused to the local indigenous tribes when we first landed all those years ago.
At his final service for our Benefice which was held at All Saints' Church. Standon on the 7th January Drew was presented with a home communion set and a plaque bearing our good wishes to Drew and his family.

Drew's wife, Jules, is the current encumbent at Holy Trinty Church Eccleshall.


Please Welcome Drew - our new Curate

Hi everyone, my name is Drew Walker and in July 2017 I look forward to joining the United Benefice of All Saints’ Standon, St Mary’s Swynnerton & Cotes Heath and St Luke’s Tittensor as your curate.
A little bit about myself. I was born in Liverpool, but have lived in Cheshire most of my life. I’m married to Jules, and we have 4 adult children, Josh, Thom, Amy & Matt (pictured below with Josh’s fiancé Beatrix too). Our children are in a contemporary Christian worship band, which means our home is never quiet. We love to share God’s word through music and encourage others to do the same.
I first felt God’s nudging over 20 years ago, but ignored this for many years. In 2008 after many years working within the commercial flooring industry I felt it was time to stop and listen to God properly. I went to Liverpool Hope University as a ‘mature’ Theology and Religious Studies student and as part of my studies completed an extended placement within a prison setting. This was a time of huge growth for me personally and I spent over 7 years continuing to volunteer in the Chaplaincy teams within several prisons in the North West. I have a massive heart for hurting people and restorative justice, for people who might be seen in society as ‘the least, the lost and the broken’ and believe in second chances.
I have only a few indulgences, proper coffee and a small dram of Scottish water now and again. I can often be found being exercised by my two dogs across Cheshire fields, enjoy reading, listening to all types of music and laughing, lots.

I look forward to meeting you all very soon.

Summer Fair 2018

Our highly successful Summer Fair was on Staurday 30 June and here are some photos courtesy of Jackie Stokes.  [Click for more detail]
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Winners of the Annual Quiz & Chips

'The Management', pictured above' won the quiz and chips again in March, beating 25 other teams by one point. They get to look after the 'magnificent' Brewer Trophy for another year.

Captain Ade

You may remember Captain Adrian Prescott of the Church Army who was Children's Worker in this benefice a few years ago.  His latest position is in Torbay doing the same work.  To read his latest newsletter, click here.
Caring for God's Acre - David Harman
I went across to Blymhill Village Hall on 18th November to receive a Churchyard Award - St Mary's was awarded Gold for the first time in 2017 - one of only 14 in the whole of the Diocese.

Attached is a photo of me receiving it from Harriet Carty who represents the Charity "Caring for God's Acre".

The Charity stresses the importance of churches being able to provide a haven in a village or urban environment for Wildlife and Wild Flowers.

Churchyards are important places where we find the oldest trees in Europe (yews), lichens on the gravestones, grasslands, wild flower meadows and many species of birds, insects and, unfortunately, moles!

 ....and it's vital work that we carry out for the community as we preserve our social history with the gravestones and monuments as well as the species rich environment for God's creatures and plants. St Mary's was also awarded a Nature Friendly Award as we encourage wild life, trees and flowers.

It was great to see also that All Saints Standon and St Luke's Tittensor were both given Silver Awards and Nature Friendly Awards. Congratulations then are in order for the loyal bands of workers that keep our three churchyards looking so well cared for.

Churchyard Clearing 

Oak Tree Farm Rural Project

A BIG Thank you!

​Along with the Churchyard Clearing Team they have ensured that the surrounds are attractive and in good shape. So much so that this year they  have won a Silver  award in the Local Churchyards competition!

Well done to James, Tim, Kevin, Anthony, Simon, Steven and Peter and to their supervisor, Nathan.

The Churchyard Clearing Team has hosted a coffee and cakes morning to say a big 'thank you' to the team from
Oak Tree Farm Rural Project.

Members of the Project have been working  hard throughout the summer to keep the grass cut around St. Mary’s Church and Hall.

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For more information about Oak Tree Farm, please click here for their website.

Harvest Prayer Hunt
During early October, we set up a Prayer Hunt in St Mary's.  Each of the eight stations gave us an opportunity to stop, and think about God in our lives.  The church was open all week, and lots of people came.  

​Watch the video.

Our Mission Partners Say Goodbye to Togo

On Sunday Gad, Liz, Corban and Lael visited St Mary's to say what they had been doing in Togo now that their work for Crosslinks has come to an end.
Gad and Liz say, 'We give thanks for the work of Crosslinks, who seek to share God's word to God's world. Through the opportunity to work with them we have been able to appreciate how sharing God's word, teaching from his word and looking at life in new ways through his word has guided us faithfully through many new adventures in the last 7 years. We've also had the privilege of being part of a large group of scattered mission workers all seeking to serve God in so many diverse ways and places.'

Rainbows Visit St Mary's

During June, members of the 1st Yarnfield Rainbows visited St Mary's.

Revd Stephen McKenzie helped them to explore the church.
Walk of Witness
Good Friday at Tittensor
Last year's Walk of Witness was around Tittensor village.  After a short service in St Luke's, members of the churches carried the cross around the houses, before returning to the church hall for tea and hot-cross buns.

Lent Lunch

Pictures of this year's Lent Lunch in the Church Hall, in aid of the Bishop's Appeal "I was a Stranger'.
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Tending the Churchyard

Can you help?

We meet in the church car park at 09:30 on the first Saturday of each summer month.  
If you would like to join us then please just come along and we will find something for you to help us with.  We provide all tools.  Did I mention the coffee and cake?

For more information please e-mail me, Ken Marchant, at  [email protected]  or see me at St. Mary’s church.

Gold Award

Once a month (carefully avoiding Winter), the Churchyard Clearing group meet for some light gardening work.  I say light, if you consider cutting boughs from overhanging trees, mowing paths, trimming hedges and weed killing as light work then we can possibly find you something more challenging.  We are well supported by the Oak Farm Trust who mow the lawns and keep the areas generally under control.

To be honest, the main reason most of us turn up is for the delicious coffee and home-made cakes at 11:00.

Along the way we help to keep the church yard presentable.  this year we won a gold award in the annual Churchyard Awards Scheme – a competition that is judged by an independent panel of volunteers.  

This year we hope to establish a nature friendly area, and tackle a few areas that have been partly neglected; and eat more cake.

Master Henry And The Art
of Making Willow Decorations

Alan Rawlings in his guise as Master Henry, gave lessons in St Mary's car park on how to make Christmas Decorations from willow.  After teaching us the tricks of this old art, the students went into the hall for hot drinks and oatcakes.
  1. Master Henry
    Master Henry
  2. 'If it goes wrong, it's the willow's fault!''
    'If it goes wrong, it's the willow's fault!''
  3. A fine decoration from Pat
    A fine decoration from Pat
  4. Alan checking his stock
    Alan checking his stock
  5. 'Is this how you do it?'
    'Is this how you do it?'

An Emotional and Spiritual  Service of Baptism

  1. Nearly a hundred people came to celebrate the baptisms
    Nearly a hundred people came to celebrate the baptisms
  2. Evelyn Mae smiled through the whole service
    Evelyn Mae smiled through the whole service
  3. A very proud Mum and Dad
    A very proud Mum and Dad
  4. Alex prepares to step into the water
    Alex prepares to step into the water
  5. Lots of friends, family and church members
    Lots of friends, family and church members
  6. 'Bring and Share' meal in the Village Hall
    'Bring and Share' meal in the Village Hall
St Mary's saw a great day recently when baby Evelyn Mae was Christened, and she enjoyed every minute of it. 

Alex chose a baptism by full-immersion, and she can be seen above entering the pool. This was a new event for St Mary's, and a special portable baptistry was brought in for the occasion. Nearly a hundred people came to celebrate, and to join in a 'bring and share' meal afterwards.